The Presidency has attacked Matthew Kukah, Bishop of Sokoto Catholic Diocese, for describing Nigeria as a “killing field” under the President Muhammadu Buhari administration in his Easter message.
Kukah, in his message on Sunday, said both the government and Nigerians have become helpless, as criminals continue to cause havoc in the country.
Nigeria has been facing rising insecurity, especially in the northern part of the country where bandits and Boko Haram terrorists frequently attack residents.
The clergy noted that many Nigerians are frustrated over the security situation.
“Taunted by Boko Haram, ravaged by bandits, kidnappers, armed robbers, and other merchants of death across the nation, there is collective fear as to whether Nigeria’s glory is about to depart,” Kukah said.
“Retired military and intelligence officers lament over what has become of their glorious profession, as they watch the humiliation of our military personnel. Traumatised citizens are tortured daily by bandits.
“The nation has since become a massive killing field, as both government and the governed look on helplessly. A thick and suffocating cloud of desperation, despondency, desolation, gloom, and misery hangs in the hot air. We have no message and have no idea how long this will last.”
However, responding vis a statement, Garba Shehu, presidential spokesman accused Kukah of distorting facts over his comments on Boko Haram and failed to speak like the Man of God that he is.
“All citizens have their individual ideologies, even their own versions of truth. But if you profess to being a man of God, as Father Mathew Hassan Kukah does, ideology should not stand in the way of facts and fairness”, he said.
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“Father Kukah has said some things that are inexplicable in his Easter message. But, in saying that the Boko Haram terrorism is worse than it was in 2015, he did not speak like a man of God.
“Kukah should go to Borno or Adamawa to ask the citizens there the difference between 2014 and 2021”.
Shehu also faulted the Bishop for saying Buhari is not concerned about those displaced by the security crisis, citing the creation of the Ministry of Humanitarian Affairs, Disaster Management and Social Development as part of the president’s efforts to cater for the Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs).
“Some of the comments are no more than a sample of the unrestrained rhetoric Fr. Kukah trades in, which he often does in the guise of a homily.
“We urge well-meaning citizens to continue to support the ongoing efforts by the administration to secure the country and move it forward,” he added.